With a long-term fleet that already contains a 2022 BMW M3 and a 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing—both of which let the driver row their own gears through six-speed manual transmissions—you might think that our sports-sedan itch would be satiated. But we believe there can never be too many stick-shift, high-performance four-doors. So after the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing earned a spot on our 2022 10Best list and set a sub-three-minute time at Lightning Lap thanks to its 472-hp 3.6-liter engine, rich feedback, and crisp handling, we ordered one for a long-term test. Though it shares the Blackwing moniker with the larger CT5-V, the CT4-V’s tighter dimensions and twin-turbo V-6 give the car a distinctly different demeanor. The CT4-V Blackwing also gives our M3 an in-house rival.
As with our CT5-V Blackwing, we chose the six-speed manual gearbox. The stick shift is standard on Blackwing models and saves buyers more than $3000 compared to the 10-speed automatic. The vivid $625 Electric Blue hue of our CT4-V Blackwing really pops. We matched the paint job with blue brake calipers ($595) hiding behind a set of 18-inch bronze-colored aluminum alloy wheels ($1500). The cabin is outfitted with high-performance bucket seats, with Sky Cool Gray quilted and perforated inserts, a $4900 upgrade over the standard Jet Black seats. These buckets are also heated and ventilated, part of a required $600 package that also adds power lumbar support for the driver and front passenger. The special seats also require another option package, which wraps the headliner, door trim, and other interior bits in a suede-like microfiber.
Despite packing fewer options than the first CT4-V Blackwing we tested in 2021, this example weighed in slightly heavier at 3879 pounds. The extra 28 pounds may have led to this Blackwing recording a 0.1 second slower dash to 60 mph, at 4.1 seconds, than that first test car did, and it was 0.2 second behind at the quarter-mile with a 12.6-second run. The grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber helped our CT4-V record 1.01 g’s at the skidpad, and the tires and Brembo brakes clawed the Blackwing to a stop from 70 mph in 149 feet. While these performance figures can’t quite match our long-term BMW M3—which hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, completed the quarter-mile in 12.2 ticks, and pulled 1.02 g’s on the skidpad—the Cadillac rings in nearly $10,000 cheaper.
The impressive run at the track was sadly cut short by an unexpected guest. A day after a deer got up close and personal with the rear passenger-side door of our long-term CT5-V Blackwing, the CT4-V suffered a similar fate, colliding with a turkey vulture at 144 mph. The repairs, which necessitated replacing the passenger-side mirror, A-pillar, and other trim pieces, totaled more than $4000 and forced the Blackwing to spend 14 days on the sideline.
Destructive encounters with wildlife aside, the CT4-V’s stay so far has been stellar, with the sports sedan quickly earning heaps of praise, much like its bigger brother. We have consistently lauded the driving dynamics, with the sharp and responsive steering and gearbox helping the Cadillac feel more alive than the M3. One staffer even likened it to a Camaro SS 1LE, just “with better sightliness and an extra set of doors.” While some wish the CT4-V were powered by a more characterful V-8, the V-6 provides enough oomph to pin your noggin to the headrest and emits its own unique burble.
While the Blackwing’s ability to ferociously attack a curvy road was well known from our experiences at Lightning Lap and 10Best, the Cadillac is now showing us that it also can excel in the daily commute. The forgiving ride afforded by the adaptive magnetorheological dampers makes it noticeably more comfortable to live with than the stiffer M3, which can be punishing on Michigan’s broken asphalt. Many commenters have already asserted their preference for the Blackwing over our long-term BMW. “If our M3 disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn’t miss it,” one editor wrote, while another said, “If only the M3 could feel so balanced and progressive.”
There have been some complaints about the quality of the interior materials, although the cabin cheapness is less egregious in the CT4-V than in our $100,000 CT5-V Blackwing. The Sky Cool Gray seats, which certainly help liven up the interior, are already staining a gray-blue color. Minor criticisms aside, the staff’s adoration for the CT4-V Blackwing means the sports sedan should start quickly racking up miles, even as the incoming Michigan winter provides a harsh test for this Cadillac’s day-to-day usability.
Months in Fleet: 3 months Current Mileage: 5566 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 19 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 17 gal Observed Fuel Range: 323 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair:$0
Damage and Destruction: $4326
2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Base/As Tested: $59,990/$68,210
Options: Sky Cool Gray interior – leather seating surfaces with mini-perforated quilted inserts, suede microfiber trim package, and performance steering wheel, $4900; 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels w/Tech Bronze finish, $1500; Electric Blue paint, $625; climate package – heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats, heated steering wheel, $600; blue brake calipers, $595
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 218 in3, 3564 cm3
Power: 472 hp @ 5750 rpm
Torque: 445 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 15.0-in vented disc/13.4-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
F: 255/35ZR-18 94Y Extra Load TPC Spec 3164
R: 275/35ZR-18 99Y Extra Load TPC Spec 3165
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Length: 187.6 in
Width: 71.5 in
Height: 56.0 in
Passenger Volume: 90 ft3
Trunk Volume: 11 ft3
Curb Weight: 3879 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS: NEW
60 mph: 4.1 sec
100 mph: 9.9 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.6 sec @ 114 mph
130 mph: 17.2 sec
150 mph: 25.0 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.3 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 9.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 7.1 sec
Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 189 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 149 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 310 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.01 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 18/15/23 mpg
4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper
6 years/70,000 miles powertrain
4 years/50,000 miles corrosion protection or 6/unlimited
6 years/70,000 miles roadside assistance
1 year/1 visit scheduled maintenance
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
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